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Garth Brooks rolls out first of 11 Target Center shows to enthusiastic fans

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Country music legend Garth Brooks kicked off an 11-show run at the Target Center on Thursday night, and despite a long absence from the stage, the 52-year old country music legend gave his fans their money's worth.

FOX 9 reported that before the show, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges welcomed Brooks and his wife, three-time Grammy Award winner Trisha Yearwood, with a personally-written proclamation. Over the upcoming stretch of concerts, some 200,000 Garth-and-Trisha fans will watch them perform in Minneapolis.

In a review in the Star Tribune, critic Jon Bream, calling Brooks "the once and future king of country music," noted that Brooks did not "run around the Target Center stage as much Thursday as he did last time in 1998." (Bream described his look as that of a "middle-aged dad.")

The review praised the 125-minute concert that featured a few new songs along with his top hits, hailing his sincerity and his "energy, passion and, most importantly, the mastery of gestures big and small."

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Writing in the Pioneer Press, critic Ross Raihala noted that his mid-concert set with Trisha Yearwood was a crowd-pleaser. She joined him onstage for "a tender duet, 'In Another's Eyes,' that ended with the couple face-to-face, singing into the same microphone," then played back-up guitar as she sang three of her old hits plus her new one, and "earned rapturous applause that rivaled her husband's."

Brooks has 10 more shows running through Nov. 15. Although the run is sold out, fans can check axs.com/garth the day of each show for possible last-minute tickets.

Everyone's getting into the act. Here's the forecast for the run, featuring WCCO meteorologist Chris Shaffer, who paid a weather tribute to Brooks.

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